Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
kynect Open Enrollment Enters its Final Week
kynect Open Enrollment Enters its Final Week
Individuals should sign up by Feb. 15 to avoid a costly tax penalty
FRANKFORT, Ky. – With a little more than a week remaining in this enrollment period, 142,349 individuals have taken advantage of kynect to enroll in healthcare coverage for 2015. This number includes nearly 96,000 Kentuckians who have either newly enrolled in a qualified health plan since Nov. 15, 2014 or renewed the private insurance plan they purchased through kynect last year.
The deadline to enroll in coverage through kynect is midnight, Sunday, Feb. 15. Individuals who need health insurance are encouraged to log on to kynect or contact an insurance agent or kynector to see their options for quality, affordable health coverage in 2015 before the Feb. 15 deadline passes. Medicaid enrollment is open at any time.
Individuals with income above 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) who fail to enroll in healthcare coverage before Feb. 15 will be subject to an IRS penalty, including those whose income falls between 100%-138% FPL and are eligible for the Medicaid expansion. Individuals whose income falls below 100 percent FPL are not subject to the penalty.
The 2015 IRS penalty is $325 per person or 2 percent of household income, whichever is greater. If an individual is uninsured for more than nine months in 2015, the penalty will be deducted from their refund when they file the 2014 tax returns. In many cases, this penalty could exceed the annual cost of insurance. For example:
· In 2015, a 30-year-old in Lexington making $20,000 would qualify for a subsidy and pay $37.44 for a full year of bronze coverage or pay a $400 penalty and remain uninsured.
· In 2015, a 25-year-old in Louisville making $40,000 would qualify for a subsidy and pay $604.08 for a full year of bronze coverage or pay an $800 penalty and remain uninsured.
“Not only is insurance important for your physical health, it also makes financial sense,” said Carrie Banahan, executive director of kynect. “Why risk the possibility of being uninsured and facing a costly medical procedure and a tax penalty, especially when you may qualify for financial assistance to defray some of your premium cost? Don’t wait. Visit kynect and enroll in healthcare coverage today.”
The following kynect enrollment statistics are current as of 3:30 p.m. Feb 5th:
- 605,037 unique visitors viewing more than 21.3 million pages;
- 313,742 individuals have conducted preliminary screenings;
- 447,875 calls have been handled by the kynect contact center;
- 34,119 new accounts have been created;
- 8,037 people have downloaded the new kynect app;
- 55,514 new applications for coverage have been submitted;
- 46,422 have enrolled in Medicaid coverage;
- 75,760 individuals have renewed their enrollment in a qualified health plan;
- 20,167 individuals have newly enrolled in a qualified health plan;
- 4,501 individuals have enrolled in dental plans; and
- 7,082 visitors to the kynect store at Fayette Mall in Lexington have completed 4,774 applications for new coverage.
Special outreach to students
As the Feb. 15 deadline to enroll in a qualified health plan for 2015 approaches, outreach events continue at several campuses in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). The following events are open to students and the general community, and will feature kynectors answering questions about kynect and helping Kentuckians find a plan that fits their needs and budgets, along with select giveaways.
· Gateway Community and Technical College, Urban Covington campus (Two Rivers Building), 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Feb. 9 and 10; and
· Gateway Community and Technical College, Boone campus, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Feb. 11 and 12.
Important tax information
Individuals who qualified for an Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC) through kynect will receive a 1095-A tax form in the mail as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Form 1095-A provides information for individuals and families who received payment assistance to help them fill out IRS Form 8962 as part of their federal return.
kynect has instituted a robust training and information program to help individuals, kynectors, insurance agents and tax preparers understand the requirements of the ACA and the Form 1095-A filing requirements. More information is available at kynect.ky.gov. Individuals with questions about their Form 1095-A may also call a special kynect hotline at 1-844-373-2417.
Individuals with Medicaid, KCHIP, Medicare, catastrophic health insurance or insurance through an employer or other agency do not need Form 1095-A to file their federal income taxes.
Visit https://kynect.ky.gov or call 1-855-4kynect (459-6328) to learn more about affordable health care options for Kentuckians.